AFCON 2021: Why Nigeria must not lose to Guinea-Bissau in final Group D clash


Super Eagles

Nigeria will surely play in the last 16 of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

That was confirmed after they defeated Sudan 3-1 in their second Group D game last weekend.

The Super Eagles now top the group with six points, ahead of Egypt who have three points in second place.

Both Guinea-Bissau and Sudan have one point each.

The final group fixtures will see Nigeria take on Guinea-Bissau, while Egypt play Sudan.

Augustine Eguavoen has hinted several times after the Sudan game that he will be fielding his fringe players for what is essentially a dead rubber game.

However, it is important that complacency and overconfidence does not creep in.

There was a hint of that against the Falcons. Although Nigeria went three goals up, they did not produce the sort of spellbinding display that stunned Mohamed Salah and co in the opening game.

Some of the football was lethargic and it appeared the Nigerian players underestimated their opponents.

But it will be a different ball game on Wednesday. Guinea-Bissau are fully aware that four points could see them qualify for the Round of 16, as one of the best third-placed teams. And so, they will come out ready for battle. After all, they have nothing to lose.

If they catch Eguavoen’s men napping, another upset could be recorded at the AFCON.

That will not only attract criticisms from fans and pundits, it will dent the confidence of the players ahead of their next game.

A win will be great. A draw might be acceptable. But no matter what happens, the Eagles cannot afford to lose.

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